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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  July 21, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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from the president in a short time. >> senior white house correspondent, thank you for being with us this morning. that wraps up this hour on msnbc. thank you for the privilege of your time. craig melvin picks up president obama's statement coming up any second now on the white house. >> jose, good morning. good morning, everyone. i'm in for tamron hall. this a is "newsnation." we don't follow the developing nation. president obama set to deliver the statement amid growing outrage over what has become a chaotic scene to say the least at the site where malaysian airlines flight 17 was shot down. calls are growing louder for the international community to step up as separatists continue to control the area with the plane was brought down by a missile. ukraine's government today said it's willing to hand over coordination of the investigation to international authorities. this morning while visiting the dutch embassy poroshenko issued
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a strong condemnation of the pro-russian separatist controlling the crash site accusing them of mishanding l victim's bodies and destroying evidence as well. this morning almost five days after the plane was brought down, dutch investigators were finally given access to the bodies of the victims. they're getting some access to the crash site, at least 21 more bodies were recovered at the crash site. ukraine's emergency ever emergency service agency said they recovered 251 of the 298 bodies aboard that plane. joining me now senior white house correspondent chris jansing and mark murray. let's pick up where you left off. it sounds like you have been talking to some folks at the white house. the president is going to talk about specifically what happened on thursday. and options for the united states and options for the e.u. as well moving forward. >> we don't know the parameters behalf he's going to talk about. the white house officials say they don't want to get ahead of
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the president. those are the obvious things. the international pressure is mounting on putin who had been in a situation where because of the economic interest of many of the countries, including the dutch who lost the most citizens on the downing of that flight, their economic interests had made unpalatable for them to impose further sanctions inspite the fact the united states had been pushing them to do so. now the pressure on him is tremendous. as you know, he went into a radio silence over the weekend only issuing a brief statement earlier today in which he said the conflict in the ukraine now moves from the battle field to the negotiating table. the first indication that he realizes how much he is -- how much trouble he's in. and certainly the spent a lot of time over the weekend where he spent time with camp david with his family on phone calls talking to the leaders about the next steps are. now, what he said on friday very
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clearly when he went into the briefing room and he was asked a specific question about arming the ukrainians. he said that was not on the table. we already know that he has said repeatedly as has secretary kerry any kind of boots on the ground are not only the table. if you look at polls that have been taken in recent days, craig, you know there's no appetite among the american people for a further involvement in this. what we're looking at how much further can we go with sanctions. how far is the e.u. willing to go. are there other steps that peter king suggested that might be taken. >> chris standing by at 1600 pennsylvania. we'll come back to you. president obama expected to speak any moment. mark murray standing by. since the plane was shot down on thursday, how have we seen the politics play out on capitol hill? >> well, you know, the american politics it's very interesting, craig. most democrats and republicans have all been united against
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putin. everyone seems to be on the same page. it's one of the rare instances, in fact, where you don't see a lot of finger pointing between democrats and republicans. the white house and republicans on capitol hill. the one part where politics has come up is when its republicans who say that president obama hasn't been in command. hasn't showed the optical leadership that carried on fundraisers. he's carried on things like he did today regarding an executive order for the lgbt community. so that has been the main area when it comes to politics. but right now we have seen a pretty united front when it comes between americans realizing who fired that weapon that took down the airplane and holding russia accountable for it. >> meanwhile earlier today putin responded to the growing international pressure. putin issued a brief statement. in the statement, he urged the pro-russian separatists to, among other things, allow international experts access to
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the crash site. he warned, quote, nobody should and no one has the right to use this tragedy to achieve selfish political ends. all comes as the u.n. security council expected to vote on the -- the government released some video. the video has not been verified by nbc news. the video does show what it says are three mobile missile launchers. these mobile missile launchers leaving rebel territory, headed for russia after the plane was downed with at least one missile missing. we are standing by in moscow. jim, let's start there. we know the international pressure is mounting against putin. inside russia, does it seem like the push could at least mount up enough that putin might begin to cut ties with the rebels or at least condemn their behavior?
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>> hey, craig. i hate to sound like the devil's advocate. it's hard to see putin do anything like that. anything like cutting ties with the ethnic russian rebels. it simply isn't in the dna or even condemning them. even saying i'm sorry would be extremely unlikely. first of all, cutting the cord with the pro-russian rebels in eastern ukraine would probably trigger major alarm bells with the ethnic russian population in crimea. while putin clearly wants ukraine to be unstable for as long as he can make that possible, he wants just the opposite in crimea. he wants no problems there. he can't really condemn the rebels either, because that would suggest they had done something criminal. that would automayically implicate him in a crime since the weapon, as we assume, were russian. in fact, putin doesn't believe, however, craig. that pressure will ever get to that level. despite all we're talking about
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and the game-changer now and the perhaps certain european countries feeling more willing now to take that risk and that cost with more restrictive sanctions still. putin seems to think that europe and the end of the day does not have the stomach for tough, sustained sanctions. >> jim, quickly here. international pressure aside, how real is the worry inside russia that putin risks, you know, further alienating the ruling class there. the billionaires who keep the economy churning? >> i don't think that's going to be an issue. remember that most of the current crop of billionaires are the ones who depos s who got th investment at sochi olympics. those were russians pretty poor before putin.
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they are loyal to the guy. because they owe him their millions. these are the ones who agreed to the putin rule. i'll make you rich if you do what i say. putin has more to worry about in terms of the banking or energy sector sanctions than he does the billionaires. jim, i want to come back to you after we hear from president obama. again, the president expected to talk about the situation in ukraine in a few moments. i want to bring in democratic congresswoman of ohio. the cochair of the ukrainian caucus. congresswoman, what do you hope to hear from president obama? >> i hope that he builds on the strength that he has shown in liberties behalf to help the people of ukraine who seek to build a sovereign nation. the president imposed sanctions. he's urging the european allies
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to dot same. and i'm hoping that the president will press for the votes at the u.n., again, to allow international investigation of what happened. i think what the russians and their counter parts in ukraine are doing is the sack religion the way they treated the bodies of the crash. it's a moment in history that will be remembered, and we need to have full investigation and put the blame where it lies. >> congresswoman, let's just say hypothetically that russia does allow these international investigators into the crash site. and let's just also say that these investigators conclude that russia was indirectly responsible for bringing down of the jet. then what? >> well, i think, first of all, truth will out. we need to know the truth. and then we will move to negotiations to try to settle the situation down in ukraine.
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that's what the president of ukraine has been asking for. that's what our country has been asking for. i think right now we need to understand what happened. you know, russia has a very troubled history with its neighbors, and not just with ukraine but poland in 2010. an aircraft was downed over russia. the russians controlled the entire site. they took the black box and didn't return the boild bodies many days later. to this day there's conjecture about what happened. this can't be the case in ukraine. >> i understand you traveled recently to ukraine as well. what did you find? what did you see? what are people on the ground there saying? >> well, whatly remember forever is it was for the swearing in of the president or .
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we walked up the street. when the people of ukraine saw we were from america, they started to shout america! america! america! louder and louder. it was the only country that was so recognized by the people of ukraine. i'll tell you, it was breathtaking. i thought the people want us to be allies with them here. it was just astounding. i can think of many places in the world where we wouldn't be welcomed like that. i think it's a credit to the bipartisan cosponsorship of legislation at the federal level that helped to not forget ukraine to support our independence efforts as well as thousands and thousands of americans who never forgot their homeland and kept up ties. the people want to draw toward more democratic ways of life. >> congresswoman marcy captor of ohio.
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congresswoman, standby for us. once president obama speaks, i want to come back to you. president obama expected to head to the lawn any moment now to talk about the ongoing situation in ukraine. the shooting down of malaysian flight 17. as you might imagine, this was, of course, the topic of conversation on sunday during the sunday shows. this is just a bit of what senator dianne feinstein had to say. take a listen. >> i would say, putin, you have to man up. you should talk to the world, you should say if there was a mistake, i hope it was, say it. >> how about sanctions that would hit putin as an individual? energy sector, banking sector, the europeans are never going to lead on the issue. there's independenceble that america lead. senator lindsey graham there, senior senator. steve, what are our options? our realistic options
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diplomatically moving forward? >> there are three sets of option. one, as marcy just say, make clear through photographic and signals intelligence that russia had a hand perhaps not in knowing it was bombing a commercial airliner but had a hand in what these separatists did. we have ample evidence and we've been watching everything they've done. that's step one. to use it as leverage to get the europeans not to leave us in a unilateral position. the europeans did not join us except on glagreeing not to finance new project. they can up the ante. the second bit is we have a complicated voice. we decide we're entering into a global rivalry. we need to take stock on the broad point of leverage. ukraine will be the tip of the iceberg with the kinds of conflicts that we will have with russia down the road.
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the third option subpoena give russia one last chance and say we have a regular rise ri-- if that's what you want we'll do it. you have demonstrate a responsibility you haven't been demonstrating and give them an opportunity to remain an integrative part of the global system that we have developed. otherwise they need to be expelled from that. it is going to feel and look like the cold war. it will cost us, as much as it costs them. those are the choices before us. >> is there any reason to believe that the third option would ever happen? >> well, yes there is view here not chaired by many in washington but at least in washington and certain part of europe. russia has been asking for a regular strategic discussion with the united states like china achieved with us. we haven't given to them. part of what we're seeing putin do in positioning himself is the ronald reagan of moscow.
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trying to revive nationalism in that country and restore pride they feel like they've been treated badly and humiliated by the west for decades since the end of the cold war. part is to bring them in in ways where they're not just another part of the g 8 but rather they are a special and unique country that needs to do it. i'm not sure i'm have candidating thcandidate i -- advocating that. it's something to try. >> chris continues to standby for us at the white house. any indication what we're going to hear from the president? >> no. i want to pick up on what steve was saying. there's some talk samantha power laid out as a stronger and more detailed case against russia. i think it was clear in what the president had to say friday and the way in which he said it. he wanted to provide the one last diplomatic opening for putin. i think there's no doubt the window is closing, craig.
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>> all right. we see president obama making his way to the podium, again. the president is going to be talking about the shooting down of malaysian flight 17. let's listen in. >> good morning, everybody. i want to make a brief statement about the tragedy in ukraine. before i do, i want to note that secretary kerry has departed for the middle east. as i've said many times, israel has a right to defend itself against rocket and troubunnel attacks from hamas. as a result of the operations, israel has already done significant damage to hamas' terrorist infrastructure in gaza. i've said, however, that we have serious concerns about the rising number of palestinian civilan deaths and the loss of israeli lives. that's why now it has to be our focus an the international community to bring about a serious fire that end the fighting and that can stop the
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deaths of innocent civilians. both in gaza and in israel. so secretary kerry will meet with allies and partners. i've instructed him to push for an -- based a return to the november 2012, ceasefire agreement between israel and hamas in gaza. the work will not be easy. obviously there are enormous passions involved in this and difficult strategic issues involved. nevertheless, i've asked john to do everything he can to help facilitate a cessation to hostilit hostility. we don't want to see anymore civilians get killed. with respect to ukraine, it's been four days since malaysian flight 17 was shot down over territory controlled by russian backed separatists in ukraine.
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over the last several days, our hearts have been absolutely broken as we've learned more about the extraordinary and beautiful lives that were lost. men, women, and children and ininfants killed so suddenly and senselessly. our thoughts and prayers continue to be with their families around the world who are going through just unimaginable grief. i've had the opportunity to speak to a number of leaders around the world whose citizens were lost on this flight, and all of them remain in a state of shock, but frankly, also in a state of outrage. our immediate focus is on recovering those who were lost. investigating exactly what happened. and putting forward the facts. we have to make sure that the truth is out.
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and that accountability exists. international investigators are on the ground they have been organized, i've sent teams, other countries have sent teams. they are prepared, they are organized to conduct what should be the kinds of plrotocols and scouring and collecting of evidence that should follow any international incident like this. and what they need right now is immediate and full access to the crash site. they need to be able to conduct a prompt and full and unimpeded as well as transparent investigation. and recovery personnel have to do the solemn and sacred work of recovering the remains of those who were lost. y ukrainian president declared a zone around the crash site. you have international teams already in place pry paired to conduct -- prepared to conduct
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the investigation, and recover the remains of those lost. but unfortunately, the russian backed separatists who control the area continue to block the investigation. they've repeatedly prevented international investigators from gaining full access to the wreckage. as investigators approached, they fired their weapons into the air. the separatists are removing evidence from the crash site. all of which begs the question what are they trying to hide? more over, these russian backed separatists are removing bodies from the crash site. oftentimes, without the care that we would normally expect from a tragedy like this. this is an insult to those who have lost loved ones. it's the kind of behavior that has no place in the community of nations. now russia has extraordinary influence over the separatists. no one denies that.
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russia has urged them on. russia has trained them. we know that russia has armed them with military equipment and weapons. including anti-aircraft weapons. key separatists leaders are russian citizens. so given itself directive influence over the separatists, russia and president putin in particular has direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation. that is the least they can do. president putin says that he supports a full and fair investigation. and i appreciate those words but they have to be supported by actions. the burden now on russia to insist that the separatists stop tampering with the evidence, grant investigators who are already on the ground immediate, full, and unimpeded access to the crash site. the separatists and the russian sponsors are responsible for the safety of the investigators doing their work.
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and along with our allies and partners, we'll be working the issue of the united nations today. more broadly, as i've said throughout this crisis, and the crisis in ukraine generally. i've said it directly to pew tib as well as publicly. my preference continues to be finding a diplomatic resolution within ukraine. i believe that can still happen. that is my preference today and it will continue to be my preference. but if russia continues to violate ukraine's sovereignty and back the separatists and the separatists become more and more dangerous and at risk not simply to the people inside of ukraine, but the broader international community. but russia will only further isolate itself from the international community and the cost for russia's behavior will only continue to increase. now is the time for president putin and russia to pivot away from the strategy they've been
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taking. and get serious about trying to resolve hostilities within ukraine in a way that respects ukraine'ssoeverty and the right of the ukrainian people to make their decisions about their own lives. time is of the essence. our friends and allies need to be able to recover those who were lost. that's the least we can do. that's the least that decency demands. families deserve to be able to lay their loved ones to rest with dignity. the world deserves to know exactly what happened, and the people of ukraine deserve to determine their own future. thanks. >> all right president obama there speaking for about eight minutes there on the ongoing crisis in ukraine at the beginning. he did mention that secretary kerry is in route to the middle east to try to negotiate a ceasefire there. a lion's share of the president's comments there did
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not take questions. the lion's shares of the comments devoted to the aftermath in ukraine. i want to bring back senior white house correspondent chris jansing and mark murray standing by. chris, let me start with you. you predicted it. you said that the president was going to talk about the need to get unfettered access to the crash site. the need for all of us to become fully aware of the truth. what precisely happened on thursday. it's interesting to see how president obama follows up with those statements. >> yeah. the clear message was to putin. it was to get serious. you have encouraged the separatists. you have funded them. you have armed them. the reason that the u.s. increased sajss last week was because there was convoy of 150 vehicles that were moving everything from missile launchers to tanks across the border. it's time for you to do something. and stating, again, my preference for something
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diplomatic to happen here. but the president sending a clear message that we know what happened here. and there is no doubt about what happened. the case has been laid out very quickly. the intelligence has shown them where these missiles were launched from. they have a very clear idea. they believe they know where they came from. the question is, how much did putin know. how much was he opencouraging tm as he has been encouraging the separatist from the beginning. what are the next steps here? those are some of the things talked about in consultation with our allies in the european union. but this was a message clearly sent to putin who was, as the president pointed out, at the top of this, craig, look, it's been four days. it's time to do something. >> jim continues to standby for us in moscow as well. do we still have jim? is jim there? jim, are you there? okay.
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we do. jim, are you there? okay. we'll come back to jim. >> the last couple of hours we've -- >> we'll try to get back to jim in just a moment. but i think we have steve standing by for us. steve, again, as chris pointed out there, president obama clearly talking to his russian counter part there saying if you want to be a member of the international community, so you to cut this out. if you don't the consequences will be severe. how do we expect the message is going to be received in russia. how do we expect the message the president gave there. how is it going to be received by our partners in the e.u.? >> the honest answer is we don't know. it's the same message that the president and vice president have been sending to putin for some time. as you and i talked about last week, in every single call about ukraine, even before this disaster in the readout when the president would talk to david cameron or talk to the french
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president or angela merkel. there would be a line about growing concern about russia zending both men and heavy weapons across the border to the community. so this is not a new thing and putin has been slugging off all of those that tried to condemn this. maybe the president's moral play here. he did two things today. he said the morality of this just doesn't exist. and russia needs to understand that it is -- it will be isolated. that's a moral play. that's not a statement of force. and then the second element that i think he went into is just as chris said. he said these are russian armed, russian trained, russian supervised separatists. and the distinction of the gray zone between the separatists and what they're doing and russia proper has been diminished by the president's statements. the other thing none of us talked about is how did the ukrainians get the intelligence? my speculation, i need to undercore speculation. we helped a lot in the signals
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intelligence and the photographic evidence to help ukraine make this case. we know it. we're sending a signal we know exactly what russia is doing. what arms and weapons they're sending in. what personnel we have in there. and the president is sending a soft message if you want to go down the route, we can have a gray war with you as well. we know who to hit and who you're playing with. so in that sense, the subtlety of the speech were strong. >> nbc simmons is on the ground for us in ukraine. joining me live from the scene there. catch us up to speed on the recovery effort there. on the investigation. what is happening on the ground? let me say, first of all, we're driving away from the crash site. the militarized zone. it doesn't feel like a milita militarized zone. we're making some pace because we're told that further down the road toward the crash site fighting has broken out.
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we watched a convoy of personnel carriers -- driving in that direction. i'm watching a tank drive by in that direction. two tanks, three tanks, four tanks -- four tanks heading toward the area in the direction of the crash site. so there is clearly some kind of a clash or at least appears that way. because we watched civilians flying, frankly, that area. so there appears to be a clash happening in an area a stretch of road and direction as we've been driving away from the crash site in order to get back to base before dark. we've heard about clashes today in various part of the region. judging by this and only what we've seen with our eye, it appears if the clashes are getting closer to the crash site not further away. >> in terms of -- we heard the president saying we've heard from others that the crash site
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itself. the crash site is not secure. the crash site is not safe. we heard from secretary kerry yesterday on meet the press talk about these drunken rebels who are actually removing bodies from the crash site. what have you seen at the crash site? >> i have to say that the west -- and with them came the forensic team who i have lived he -- arrived here. a dutch forensic team trained in identifying bodies. they were guarded by the russian backed separatists. they were guarded by some of the people. it was a relatively relaxeds at tier. they went to the train station where the bodies are being held in refrigerated cars, and they said they they were satisfied where the body were being kept, at least under the circumstances. but they hope that the bodies will be able to be removed from
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that area today. it doesn't appear it's likely. we think that some -- may have happened a the train station on the line where they might need to be taken on the train. and when i spoke to the leader of the forensic team thought they would be taken back to the relatives. he simply didn't know. it's a pretty bleak picture for anybody who has loved ones who is on board flight mh 17. >> on the ground eastern ukraine by phone. travel safely, sir. thank you. right now secretary of state, as you heard from president obama, john kerry is traveling to egypt one day after the dead lieliest day in israel hamas conflict. we're live after this. live in the same communities that we serve. people here know that our operations have an impact locally. we're using more natural gas vehicles than ever before.
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right to defend itself against rocket and tunnel attacks from hamas, and as a result of its operation, israel has already done significant damage to hamas' terrorist infrastructure in gaza. i've also said, however, that we have serious concerns about the rising number of palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of israeli lives. >> president obama just a few moments ago talking about the ongoing conflict between israel and hamas saying john kerry is on his way to cairo right now to push for a ceasefire. kerry leaving on the heels of the bloodiest day yet. there was more bloodshed today as israeli tank shells struck a hospital in gaza reportedly killing at least four more people. israel also saying that at least ten militants were killed today after they tunnelled into southern israel. more than 500 palestinians and 20 israelis have been killed since israel started the
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offensive two weeks ago. ayman mojadidi joins us live from gaza. let's start with the israeli shelling that hit a hospital today. what more do we know? >> well, it happened not too long ago about two hours ago. it was in the central part of gaeorgiaza strip. not one of the main hospitals but in that particular region or province of gaza, it is the main hospital. as a result of that shelling, local palestinian media was reporting eight the officially number of those killing is four including children as a result of that shelling. we understand that the hospital has had to evacuate many of its patients to a nearby hospital here in gaza city. that hospital is already overwhelmed because hundreds of vichls that it's dealing with. so it is not the first time we see medical facilities come under attack. it's now the third hospital and facility to be destroyed or
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partially hit as a result of israeli strikes. yesterday we saw a paramedic killed as a result of an israeli shelling when he responded to a call. hospital workers here are coming under attack as a result of this ongoing fighting, craig. >> israel claims that the strikes in gaza are surgical. if true how was the hospital hit today and dozens killed in neighborhoods yesterday? >> there's a few ways to look at that. obviously israel has the own intelligence. it's not made public. israel has the own reasons why it may have targeted a facility. there's two components. this is whether or not the hospital was the intended facility or whether it was some facility next door. we're hearing they're using
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surgical strikes. what we're seeing on the ground is different. even in the situation where the hospital wasn't targeted. it raises question about the type of technology, the weapons, the efficiency, and the intension of the israeli military and the way it's targeting the suspected areas or specific targets. in places like the neighbor where we saw 75 people killed yesterday, it's hard to see any type of precision in that. we saw one entire street completely destroyed. shops, homes, essentially trees, infrastructure claps on each other. it didn't demonstrate any kind of regard for human life or any type of precision weaponry in the shelling we've been seeing or the damage of that. it does raise questions, certainly the u.n. and international organizations have expressed a tremendous amount of concern with the disproportionate course being used. there's the question of the civilian population. there's nowhere for the people to go. the u.n. has taken in about 85,000 people into their shelters. there are hundreds of thousand
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of others palestinian that are now living with relatives that have been displaced staying with friends. it give use a sense of the humanitarian pressure gaza is under. >> secretary kerry heading to cairo try to broker a size fece. what it does it take for it to become a reality. what is it going to take for secretary kerry to negotiate the ceasefire? the palestinian fanks factions have been down this before. it's the ending of the siege and blockade. they entered into ceasefires before. they failed for a variety of reasons. at the end of the day, the quality of their life has not gotten better. there's no freedom of movement and goods in and out of the territory. th
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want any credible ceasefire to meet the demand. easing from the blockade. they need a commitment there won't by be any type of missiles mortars storied. in attempted tunnel attack on the soldier or civilians. it's hard to see how the u.s. or any broker could reconcile that to get a permanent agreement as opposed to a short term fix that bring it back to the position a year or two from now since we've seen since 2008 in a repeated way. >> ayman, thank you. back here outrage continues to grow in new york city in reaction to the death of a staten island man who died after an nypd police officer placed him in an apparent choke hold. the whole thing was captured on video. >> [ bleep ]. don't touch me. [ bleep ] don't touch me. >> i can't breathe. i can't breathe. 43-year-old eric garner went
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into cardiac arrested. he died after being playsed choke hold. two officers have been placed on modified duty in new york city. a rally is going on right now with organizers calling on the community to remain law-abiding and to let justice run itself course. garner's family and the reverend al sharpton at the rally over the weekend. reverend sharpton an msnbc host. garner's wife and sister overwhelmed with grief. and they are demanding answers and accountability. thank you for being here. we should note for the viewers. you're not familiar with the nypd the use is prohibited. >> that's correct. all choke holds. >> why were police arresting garner in the first place. >> so we don't know very much right now. we're told by police officials that garner had been previously arrested for selling loose
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cigarettes untaxed cigarettes on the street. and that is what we're hearing the justification for the arrest. >> your paper reports garner received zero medical help from officers and waited how long for the ambulance? >> about seven minutes. four minutes emt lives. they don't appear to give cpr or medical aid. we see them chuck a pulse and put him on the stretcher. but that is about it. >> and passers by who gathered, what were they doing? >> from what i was told by witnesses on that day, they said they were taking video, they were screaming, you know, let go of him. they wanted to help. they wanted to intervene but there was not much they could do. >> this modified duty that the officers have been placed on, which officers and what does that mean? modified duty? >> so the two officers you see at the beginning of the clip you showed, that's daniel pent lay
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owe and the other one d'amico. they don't have their gun or shield. until the nypd internal affairs looks into it, it looks they'll remain on desk duty. >> garner's family demanding accountability and justice. tell me more about what the family said. >> the son told the daily news why did he hold him in this choke? and why did he put his bare hands on his neck? there are visibly, as you saw it at sharpton's rally disturbed they want justice and answers. >> what do we know about what garner was saying as the officers approached? >> did he threaten them? >> it doesn't appear to be from the several videos on youtube. he said you've been hassling me.
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i'm not going anything wrong. i don't have any cigarettes. there's no indication he was setting them at this time. >> and the nypd's response has been what? >> they launched the investigation. they have been to the officer's house. i saw them myself go in there and bring out a box and several bags. we're not privvy to what they're doing, but sources are saying they are looking into this. >> keep us posted. right now jury selection underway in the case of a white michigan man who shot and killed an unarmed black woman on his front porch. was it a case of self-defense or more? we'll be right back. virtually all your important legal matters
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a jury selection now underway in detroit for a trial some civil rights groups are comparing to the trayvon martin case. prosecutors say 54-year-old theodore wafer who is white,
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fatally shot 19-year-old black woman who was armed. last november he was bloody and driving on -- he felt threat bd and shot her in the face through his locked screen door. but say he didn't intend to kill her. mcbride's family says she was the victim of a brutal crime. >> it's a murder. and it's a horrible murder. i can't imagine in my wildest dreams of what that man feared from her. to shoot her in her face. >> eric is criminal and civil trial attorney. charged with second-degree murd murder, manslaughter, committing a felony with a firearm as well. wafer is claiming self-defense. he shot the young woman through a locked front door. how does he go about proving it was in fact a defense.
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what is their argument? >> it's going to be that he feared for his life based upon other incidents as far as people doing home invasions and robberies, and we have to keep in mind, craig, this was at 4:00 a.m. which if he was woken out of his sleep, he was afraid. he was disoriented. he could have possibly been afraid. that's what the defense is going to base their case upon. >> send it, the judge allowed the defense to subpoena mcbride's social media account. why? >> when a person is on trial for shooting someone and self-defense case, they're allowed to dallow ed to into the past for the person to see if they had propensity of violence if they had other violence like this. social media is like a gold mine where the defense can find anything that may be able to help them in trial. the judge already kept out some of incident -- some evidence in their case that allowed them to look at. >> let me understand this, if wafer is not familiar with
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mcbride's social media account if he don't follow her on twitter or isn't a facebook friend how is that relevant? >> some of the evidence could possibly be relevant. relevant. the judge aired on the side of caution to allow them to look at it and then look at what they found to see if it's relevant. the defense can go into a person's past and discuss prior incidents, photos and different details in order to present that in front of a jury. >> i understand the judge ruled that photos on mcbride's cell phone are not admissible. do we know what was in those photos and crucial that they were not allowed into evidence? >> on most photos, there are photos of ramisha mcbride holdihold ing guns. money and possibly smoking marijuana. i don't think those are necessarily relevant to this particular case but they may find something else that could be relevant. >> you follow trials like this on a somewhat regular basis. how steep of a climb is it going
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to be for the state? >> the state has some problems. number one, mcbride was 19 years old and she was extremely intoxicated. and the defense, i would suspect, would put on evidence to discuss how people act when they are intoxicated. maybe she was belligerent, maybe she was angry and banged on his door and maybe he was afraid. if a person is on the jury who believes they had a -- he had a reasonable fear for his life, they may be found not guilty or at least a hung jury. >> you'll follow this trial with us. we'll be seeing more of you. thank you, sir. there's a lot going on this morning. here's just one thing we thought you should know. in the past hour, at the kennedy space center in cape canaveral, nasa renamed its iconic operations center there in honor of legendary astronaut neil armstrong who died two years ago. armstrong's two sons were among those attending that naming ceremony. the honor itself comes a day after the 45th anniversary of
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armstrong becoming the first person to walk on the moon. that is just one thing we thought you should know on this monday. here's something else you should know. just a few hours from now, 3:00 eastern, president obama will be awarding the medal of honor to a former army staff sergeant from new hampshire who just six years ago almost lost his life fighting off hundreds -- hundreds of taliban fighters in one of the bloodiest battles in afghanistan. staff sergeant ryan pitts was badly wounded by shrapnel. despite the fact he was quickly losing blood, he kept fighting. the army credits him with saving many lives and also with partially turning the tide of the battle. pitts will be the ninth living recipient to be awarded the medal of honor for actions in iraq and afghanistan. and our own recipient, military analyst colonel jack jacobs is here. you spent some time talking to
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this young man and his wife recently. what were your impressions? >> lovely couple. he's very nice and very well grounded. he gets very emotional when he thinks about and talks about the men in his platoon who were lost. despite his best efforts. he's a very well grounded kid. gynecologyin. i want to play back a snippet of what he said to you. take a listen. >> this isn't mine. for me, this isn't an individual award representing a collective effort. we did it as a team. i don't think i did anything more than anyone else. we were all just giving everything we had for our brothers. and, you know, same thing. i'm going to wear it for them. i'll be its caretaker. it's ours, not mine.
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>> it seems like every time we hear from one of these medal of honor recipients, every time we hear from one of these bona fide heroes, that is the sound bite that we get. they all say that. it's not about them. it's about the platoon. >> you know, when you are in combat, you are part of a group trying to accomplish a mission. and you fight for each other. and so whatever happens, you know it's for each other. and that others in the same situation will do exactly the same thing for you. and that's why everybody, all the recipients will tell you the same thing. >> what happened that day? can you paint us a quick picture? >> his platoon was in one of the most difficult tactical situations i can possibly think of. i think it was among the worst of all the battles in the war in afghanistan. they were in relatively low ground, just a very small number of them, and they were attacked by about 200 enemy.
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in the middle of the night. and pitts was very badly wounded in the initial onslaught when the first rounds came in. he was struck by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade that very nearly paralyzed him. he still managed to get around the battle field on his arms and he almost lost his leg. it was a very close thing. saved the lives of almost everybody in his platoon was killed or wounded. managed to save the lives of those who made it. >> colonel jack jacobs, it's a fascinating profile. thank you, sir. staff sergeant ryan pitts this afternoon at the white house will be receiving the medal of honor. that is going to do it for "news nation." i'm craig meflin in for tamron hall. tomorrow, tamron with rapper and actor common. he'll be talking about his new
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album. have you heard any tracks? >> no. >> up next, "andrea mitchell reports." in the nation, it's not always pretty. but add brand new belongings from nationwide insurance... ...and we'll replace destroyed or stolen items with brand-new versions. we take care of the heat, so you don't get burned. just another way we put members first, because we don't have shareholders.
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all with no annual fee. to apply, go to citi.com/thankyoucards. russia has urged them on. russia has trained them. we know that russia has armed them with military equipment and weapons. >> right now on "andrea mitchell reports," putin under fire. days after ma rairb la airlines flight 17 was shot down, president obama is demanding answers. >> unfortunately, the russian-backed separatists who croyle the area continue to block the investigation. they've repeatedly prevented international investigators from gaining full access to the wreckage as investigators approached, they fired their weapons into the air. the separatists are removing evidence from the crash site. all of which begs the question, what exactly are they trying to hide? >> president putin today finally called for international access to the crash site.
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after a shocking spectacle of decaying bodies and other evidence being spirited away by russian separatists. >> i would say putin, you have to man up. you should talk to the world. you should say, if this was a mistake, which i hope it was, say it. even if it was a mistake, it's a horrendous mistake to make. >> senate intelligence chair dianne feinstein joining us this hour. rising death toll. with casualties mounting in gaza and the deaths of two american israeli soldiers, secretary kerry is about to arrive in cairo hoping to revive cease-fire talks. >> it now has to be our focus, and the focus of the international community to bring about a cease-fire that ends the fighting and that can stop the deaths of innocent civilians. both in gaza and in israel.

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